Most people head to Baños, Ecuador to rappel themselves off a cliff, swing over the world or perhaps even take a dip in a hot spring (yes, it’s called ‘Baños’ for a reason). However, for those visitors to Baños, Ecuador who are less into thrillseeking and more into caffeine-consuming, there are plenty of cafes and tea shops in this small town for you to enjoy. Here are just some of the best.
Located super centrally, just off Parque Central, Honey Coffee & Tea proves popular with locals and foreigners alike and is permanently full to the brim with people enjoying their sugar-topped muffins, delicious cakes of quirky pots of fruit and herbal teas. With reasonable prices, good internet and a range of tea, coffee and cake options, it’s easy to see why this remains a perennial favourite then.
Located just a smidge outside the town’s main centre, Arte Café & Té is the perfect place to go if you just want to hang out… literally. In their outdoor seating area, there are hanging hammock chairs for you to enjoy and a range of crepe and coffee/juice combos to order. While the savoury crepes are more filling than you’d expect, the sweet crepes really shine at Arte Café y Té. They also sell locally made chocolates and jewellery inside the café too.
Ponche Suizo is a small coffee shop right in the heart of Baños and its signature drink is surely the eponymous ponche suizo (Swiss punch, literally translated). However, trying to find out exactly what this frothy, light and fruity looking drink is made of proves tricky, as the baristas won’t reveal their secrets. Even so, order one and try it for yourself—it’s an experience!
Good books and food? Say no more! It’s the winning combination. Located on Calle Luis A. Martínez, Café Good Books & Food is a pretty spacious and quiet café that resembles a restaurant more than anything. In fact, as the name suggests, they do also serve breakfast and lunch, although you can easily go in just for a coffee and spend an hour with your nose in a new book. Given that they also offer a book exchange service, maybe drop by with a few titles you’ve already read too.
A true hole-in-the-wall, La Tostaduria serves up coffees from a street side hatch. Although there is some indoor seating, it’s minimal at best, so you’re best ordering to go. However, it’s worth dropping by for the quality of the coffee and the affordable prices alone (the cappuccino comes highly recommended), as well as the fact that it’s situated just off from the central plaza and church.
A relaxed atmosphere and great cakes are the trademark of Baños’Mug Cafeteria, and really, what more did you expect from a coffee shop with such a cosy, comforting sounding name? In fact, this is probably one of the best places in Baños to indulge your sweet tooth—everything chocolatey is delicious at Mug Cafeteria.
Vibrant murals line the walls of Sativa Studio Café, which is known for excellent drinks (from coffee to juice), as well as a cool atmosphere. While the prices are perhaps a little higher than in other places, Sativa Studio Café and its vegetarian menu are worth the investment. Plus, they stay open pretty late, making it the perfect spot for the night owls amongst you.